Dean Tudor's Profile

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Winterlicious Menus now posted, Jan 30 - Feb 12 2015


Lunch prices are now $18, 23 and 28

about 1 hour ago
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

FOUND Clam Strips in Toronto

I just spent a week in Nova Scotia at the Devourfest food film festival (Nov 12 to 17)..Really wanted to try fried clams since you can't get them in Toronto (until now, thanks to Easy Catch).

The entire province was out of clams (I checked: spent more than an hour phoning around) ;-(


LCBO VINTAGES December 6/14 release, the last before Christmas: some notes


Domaine Les Yeuses Les Epices Syrah 2012 Pays d'Oc, +177584, $15.95: it’s back, but
another vintage, just as good as ever – even better. Value priced, great syrah hit of pepper, smoked meat, black fruit, garrigue, blackberries. Perfect accompaniment to horse meat. I’ve said virtually the same things about the last five times this wine has turned up in Vintages (the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and now 2012). 13.5% ABV. Up a dollar, but then so is everything else in life. Twist top. Buy all of it! QPR: 94.

1.Featherstone Canadian Oak Chardonnay 2012 VQA Niagara, +149302, $21.95. QPR: 90.
2.Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2013 VQA NOTL, +172338, $22.95. QPR: 90.
3.Ashbrook Chardonnay 2011 Margaret River, +684076, $24.95. QPR: 91.
4.Mountadam Estate Chardonnay 2009 High Eden South Australia, +333211, $21.95. QPR: 90.
5.Domaine Chauveau Pouilly-Fume 2013, +390641, $23.95. QPR: 90.
6.Kew Vineyards Old Vine Riesling 2012 VQA Beamsville Bench, +392126, $18.95: old vines are from 30 years back, in 1975. Good aged riesling character, 11.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Vineland Estates Elevation St.Urban Vineyard Riesling 2012 VQA Niagara, +38117, $19.95: if there were VV standards, this one, planted in 1979, could qualify. Nicely off-dry rather than “medium”, 9% ABV. Intense and fresh. QPT: 90.
8.Thierry Delauney Sauvignon Blanc Touraine 2013, +391847, $14.95: another price-buster savvy from the Loire, tangy kiwi style zest, 12.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Monasterio de las Vinas Gran Reserva 2005 Carinena, +82024, $16.95: once away from Rioja, the prices tumble. This nine year old wine, barreled for two years, is a great tempranillo/garancha mix of chunky fruit and vanilla with alight aging. Remarkable. 13% ABV. QPR: 91.
10.Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Colchagua, +169847, $17.95: another valued wine, tasty with long length, 14% ABV. Gold medalist. Ready now. QPR: 89.
11.Vina Chocalan Reserva Syrah 2012 Maipo, +38513, $15.95: dark mocha tones, exceptionally focused, 14.5% ABV, excellent price. Ready soon. QPR: 89.
12.Volcanes de Chile Tectonia Pinot Noir 2012 Bio Bio, +389676, $17.95: fruity but with lean finishing acid, great food wine. MVC pinot tones are nailed. 14% ABV. Twist top. QPR: 89.
13.Sao Miguel Dos Descobridores Seleccionada Colheita 2012 Vinho Regional Alentejano, +146092, $17.95: a fair price for a good blend of fruit and vanilla, somewhat North American in style and in appeal. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
14.Bodegas Balbas Ardal Crianza 2005 Ribera del Duero, +167601, $16.95: it is difficult to find any Ribera under $20, and this one is even from 2005, showing us how well it can age even at the Crianza (minimum 6 months in barrel) level. Berry fruit has been resolved, 90% tempranillo, balance cabernet sauv, all juicy. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.

1.Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa, +73817, $22.95. QPR: 90.
2.Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz/Viognier 2012, +18887, $23.95. QPR: 90.
3.Pepperjack Red 2012 Barossa Valley, +393801, $24.95. QPR: 90.
4.Red Hill Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Mornington Peninsula Victoria, +58073, $21.95. QPR: 90.
5.Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Clare Valley/Coonawarra, +142398, $24.95. QPR: 91.
6.Il Molino di Grace Riserva Chianti Classico 2006, +382945, $23.95. QPR: 90.
7.Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem 2012 Cotes de Roussillon-Villages, +643239, $24.95. QPR: 90.
8.Monastir S.XII Cluny 2006, +391557, $19.95: loaded with a collection of animal qualities of leather, meat, smoke, softened by normal oak barreling and vanilla. Blend of tempranillo, cab sauv, and merlot. 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Ondarre Reserva 2008 Rioja, +732452, $18.95: fairly typical of a six year old reserve Rioja, but its price promotes its value. QPR: 89.

American Thanksgiving celebrated on Canadian Chowhound Community Boards Ontario (inc. Toronto)

FYI -- I am posting this in the interest of cross-border relations....But note that the turkey was a citizen of Ontario.

"Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow but there?s still time to register to join the Toronto Chapter of Democrats Abroad Canada at Globe Bistro for our annual Thanksgiving dinner with a delicious 3 course Thanksgiving meal.

Globe Bistro
124 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, ON
(steps from Danforth & Broadview TTC stops / Green P Parking 1 block away)

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Winner 2009 ? 2014
Globe Bistro offers a Bring Your Own (BYO) option which allows you to bring commercially produced wines. The corkage cost is $20 per 750 ml bottle.

Thursday, November 27

$50.00 Adult / $15.00 Child (12 & Under)
All-inclusive of taxes & gratuity



Celeriac, Pear & Ginger Soup
Crème frâiche, spruce tip glaze


Autumn Salad
Romaine, radicchio, roast squash, apple, pecans, maple vinaigrette


Roasted Free Run Ontario Turkey
Pomme purée, Red Fife stuffing, green beans, cranberry relish, sage jus


Ricotta Cranberry Gnocchi
Butternut squash, spinach, toasted walnuts, Eweda Cru cheese


Local Pumpkin Pie Crème Brulée

Walnut sable, vanilla chantilly


Orchard Apple Crumble

Oat streusel, maple brandy cream

Space is still available but getting limited. If you plan to join us please RSVP with payment by November 26, 2014 by or visit https://www.formstack.com/forms/da-th...

Quiet Restaurant!

Look for table cloths and some fabric curtains on the walls, in addition to no music (phone first for the music). Sound can be absorbed this way.

I remember going to one resto with cloths that dispensed with cloths to save laundry money. The noise was unbearable...

American Thanksgiving celebrated on Canadian Chowhound Community Boards Ontario (inc. Toronto)

But we don't get Thursday off with pay...

[UPDATE] Vote for your favorite restaurants in Ontario for "Best of 2014"

what can I say? I've been going since it opened, and have always had great food, excellent service, at fair prices.


PS Bonus -- lunch is served to 5PM

[UPDATE] Vote for your favorite restaurants in Ontario for "Best of 2014"

[UPDATE] Vote for your favorite restaurants in Ontario for "Best of 2014"

[UPDATE] Vote for your favorite restaurants in Ontario for "Best of 2014"

Gallery Grill in Hart House [M - F lunches only plus Sun brunch]


[UPDATE] Vote for your favorite restaurants in Ontario for "Best of 2014"

Bloom in Bloor West Village [LatAm fusion]

LCBO Vintages Nov 22 release: some notes

The point numbers, e.g. 89, 90, refer to value for dollars.

The other numbers (followed by a dot) are just a random arrangement by my notes and mean nothing, except to rank (NOT RATE) the wines according to the order in which I tasted them.

LCBO Vintages Nov 22 release: some notes

No it is not a typo -- I just misread my notes, It is $31.95, but it should not have been listed since it is over $25.

LCBO Vintages Nov 22 release: some notes

It was not put out for us to taste, probably a late delivery.

LCBO Vintages Nov 22 release: some notes


WHITE -McWilliam's Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2007 Hunter Valley NSW, +724492, $19.95: a bargain at this price level, 11% ABV, aged nicely for 7.5 years, twist top, gold medalist. It is that Hunter Valley Semillon with bone dryness. Snap it up, the company's Lovedale 2007 was in Classics at $59 a bottle.

RED -Darling Cellars Kroon Premium Shiraz 2008 WO Darling South Africa, +704486, $16.95: lots of Rhone syrah flavours, not shiraz at all, with an emphasis on brett components of leather and game. Dense with a finish for food here. 7 years old, 14.5% ABV. Cork closure. QPR: 91.


Brezza Sarmassa Barolo 2009, +999730, $49.95.

1.Pondview Bella Terra Chardonnay 2011 Barrel Fermented VQA Four Mile Creek Niagara, +347922, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.Casa del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Casablanca Valley, +974717, $13.95: there are a bunch of Chilean savvies at this pricepoint. Here, though, there is good passion in the grip. Twist top. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.Lagoon Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Martinborough NZ, +388389, $18.95: a kiwi savvy worthy of consideration, concentrated in California style, 13.5% ABV. Twist top. QPR: 88.
4.Gerald Talmard Cuvee Joseph Talmard Macon Chardonnay 2012, +392712, $16.95: pretty basic MVC chardonnay at a great price. Cork closure, some evidence of aging. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Saint-Roch Vieille Vignes Cotes du Roussillon Blanc 2013, +175232, $15.95: another concentrated floral and pretty wine, good balance on palate, 13% ABV, twist top, modest character but longer length. Hand picked and low yield. QPR: 88.
6.Frescobaldi Castello di Pomino Bianco 2013 Tuscany, +65086, $19.95: makes its annual appearance as a blend of chardonnay and pinot bianco. Orchard fruit all the way, and offered with zest. QPR: 89.
7.Paco & Lola Albarino 2013 DO Rias Baixas, +350041, $18.95: light but fragrant, unoaked floral character, refreshing acidity on finish for food. 12.5%ABV. Twist top. QPR: 88.

1.Chateau Rahoul 2010 Graves, +226043, $31.95. QPR: 90.
2.Nostre Pais Costieres de Nimes 2012, +295410, $21.95. QPR: 90.
3.M.Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes-Hermitage 2012, +264655, $24.95. QPR: 90.
4.Cusumano Noa 2011 IGT Sicilia, +109512, $22.95, QPR: 90.
5.Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva 2010, +930966, $21.95. QPR: 90.
6.Villa Mora Montefalco Sagrantino 2008, +342394, $21.95. QPR: 90.
7.Tilenus Crianza Mencia 2006 Bierzo, +383992, $23.95.
8.Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Wahluke Slope Washington State, +360222, $19.95: juicy enough to be Cali style, lots of black fruit, 14% ABV, with a tart enough finish for food. Cork closure. QPR: 89.
9.Bodega Volcanes de Chile Tectonia Red 2011 Central Valley, +389668, $17.95: very succulent, mocha vanilla tones, made from grenache (45%), petite sirah (38%) and mourvedre (17%). 14.5% ABV power. QPR: 89.
10.Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Maipo, +275594, $17.95: very much in the bordeaux-style of lean flesh with leaves, cedar, black fruit showing. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
11.Chateau de Segure Fitou 2012 Eleve en Futs de Chene, +370254, $16.95: very decent little blended number, full bore heavy duty red, 14% ABV done up in oak with lashings of fruits. QPR: 89.
12.Domaine de la Croisette Cotes du Rhone 2011, +155465, $15.95: a blend of grenache, syrah and carignan, reflecting a papery grenache Rhone taste. Good price value. Twist top, 13.5% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
13.Santa Duc Les Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone 2009, +101543, $14.95: good value for a vieilles vignes wine from the Rhone, now 5 years old in the bottle. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
14.Tenuta Stefano Farina Le Brume Langhe 2009, +360073, $16.95: priced okay for tasty nebbiolo, reflecting some sour cherries and age-worthy tar components. Food wine despite 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
15.Tenuta Sant'Antonio Monti Garbi Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2011, +29850, $17.95:
apparently this is the LCBO Ripasso of the Month (I say). QPR: 89.
16.Barahonda Sin Madera Monastrell 2011 Yecla, +366823, $15.95: ripe and fruity, no oaking, dense and intense, long finish. Whopping 15% ABV. QPR: 89.
17.Finca el Encinal Crianza 2010 Ribera del Duero, +355081, $17.95: voluptuous fruit, oak, and 14% ABV. Complex black fruit tones. QPR: 89.

ISO Decent Advent Calendars (Toronto)

My kids made us an advent calendar two decades ago, with large pockets. we use it every year, and I stuff it with a variety of goodies including fave chocolates for the family, other foods, little trinkets. No reason why it could not be all chocolate.

I suppose if off-use storage is an issue, then it would not work.

Great project, and it give you independence of gifting.

Vintages Nov 8 release: some quick notes


Vintages Nov 8 release: some quick notes

Largest selection in Toronto is at Queens Quay -- they are supposed to have everything. You can always order wines for local store delivery, but you must wait two weeks -- unless you know a Product Consultant who is willing to order for you in advance. For a year's aging, almost any house location will do so long as it is cool. Longer aging will require better storage conditions.

You don't need a decanter -- just a pitcher. I always do a double decant (pour out of the bottle into a pitcher or another bottle, and then re-pour it back into the original bottle). You can also taste the wine at this point and maybe, if needed, leave it alone for a day or two to "age" better.

You never need anything fancy for a sub-$50 wine.

Vintages Nov 8 release: some quick notes

There was a 2011 released Oct 12, 2013. I appreciated it but not enough to write about it. $35.95.

Vintages Nov 8 release: some quick notes

I had tasted the Orestiadi about four hours after it was opened and shifted about by at least 8 other wine writers. Thus, it was well aired. This is a kind of problem at the LCBO Lab. They open everything around 8:30AM+, and we arrive anytime between then and 3PM. The Globe writer usually gets there around 2:15, so all of the whites and reds have been opened awhile. This does not happen at your house. I have no real way to compensate for this time drag except to post a caveat that all wines were tasted 4 hours after they were opened. This is true for most wine writers.But the Star gets there by 9, so he tastes freshly opened reds. The Wine Align team gets there by 11, as does Vintage Assessments and Tony Aspler. I arrive before noon but do not get to the reds until 1PM, four hours after the Star.

Our results will vary depending on the rates of oxidation. Each bottle gets hoisted by a writer and shifted around in the action of pouring.

The LCBO Product consultants come on Tuesday, usually all at once, and spread themselves out over the room. Yet it still takes 3 hours to taste them all, so some wines will have to be last.

PS: The Orestiadi had an average length, I did not comment on this. I only comment when the length is longer or exceptional. Unfortunately, you have to read every word I write and every word I do not write...;-) to get the essence.

Casual brewpub or gastropub for party of 14 just before Christmas

There's a few in the Junction...

Also: Prohibition Gastropub (Queen and Broadview), not SW GTA.

Anyone going to the Royal Winter?

I find a sameness to the place, so go every two years. Last year was ok, but the Northern Foods section and selection (smoked fish, etc.) gets smaller each year. A few years back they cut out the "raw" meat and fish. Cheese has dwindled. Most of the food is food truck style, which is ok.

Every two years - or even three -is enough. How many rabbits can you look at?

It is best for the kids...

Lai Wah Heen

My wife and I had lunch in Sept...did not notice any changes.

Vintages Nov 8 release: some quick notes

thx for reminding me... at least a 92+ because it is more syrah than shiraz.

Vintages Nov 8 release: some quick notes


Chateau Fongaban 2008 Cotes de Castillon, +165720, $17.95: ready for that nice, ripe, matured Bordeaux with the typical MVC of cedar and cassis? This is it, at six years old, 14% ABV, medium finish. QPR: 92.


M.Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Shay's Flat Vineyard Shiraz 2012 Pyranees Victoria, +311480, $37.95.

1.Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2013 VQA Niagara, +80234, $16.95: longer length, 9.5% ABV, great MVC. Vintage over vintage, this is one of the best Rieslings in Ontario at this price. QPR: 90.
2.Rene Mure Signature Gewurztraminer 2012 Alsace, +387563, $21.95. QPR: 90.
3.Jean-Marc Brocard Sainte Claire Vieilles Vignes Chablis 2013, +329995, $24.95. QPR: 90.
4.La Casa Del Rey Alta Vista Premium Chardonnay 2013 Mendoza, +166504, $16.95: value priced, balanced MVC lemons, apples, old oak wood for mute tones. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Garces Silva Boya Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Leyda Valley, +389726, $14.95: 12.5% ABV, twist top, fresh and almost startling, from an upcoming sauvignon blanc region in Chile. QPR: 89.
6.Boeckel Brandluft Riesling 2012 Alsace, +392928, $17.95: tropical fruits, good balance and heft, long food length, 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.G. Mardon Domaine Pre Baron Sauvignon Touraine 2013, +107128, $16.95: the parade of Touraine savvies continue. This month's release is a Gold Medal winner; it certainly delivers Sauvignon Blanc to your palate, fresh, 12% ABV. QPR: 89.
8.Lafage Novellum Chardonnay 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc, +390781, $17.95: I'm not sure if this is a IGP or VDP Cotes Catalanes. I suspect the appellation changed between lot bottlings, and so did the label. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable Oc chardonnay produced by a negociant-shipper-importer, and worthy of your attention for its density and rich character. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 90.

1.Emina Crianza Ribera del Duero, +993220, $24.95. QPR: 89
2.Mazzei Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2011, +977629, $24.95. QPR:89
3.Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel del Monte 2008 Puglia, +177295, $22.95. QPR: 90.
4.Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz/Mourvedre 2012 Barossa Valley, +468629, $21.95. QPR: 90.
5.Roger Champault Les Pierris Sancerre Rouge 2013, +392084, $23.95. QPR: 90
6.Cave Spring Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2012 VQA Niagara Escarpment, +391995, $19.95: shows red fruit but also muted savoury tones because of hot 2012.14% ABV. Value. QPR: 89.
7.Vidal-Fleury Domaine de Vieille Fontaine Cotes du Rhone Villages 2012, +393215, $17.95: a well-priced complex wine with forest floor, leather, back fruit, and long length. 14.5% ABV. QPR: 90.
8.Di Majo Norante Ramitello 2011 Biferno Rosso Molise, +973214, $17.95: another cuties with North American off-dry appeal on the mid-palate, plumminess, Cal-Ital derived flavours, even some forest floor. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Orestiadi Ludovico 2008 IGT Rosso Sicilia, +388645, $19.95: a powerful smokey wine, some brett or animal tones, rough and ready but the power is there. Maybe lay down a year more? Already six years old, 14.5%. Packaged in a heavy bottle. QPR: 90.

Restaurants with reasonable wine mark-ups?

....Does not exist...

Try a corkage free night, usually Mon or Tues, and bring your own...

Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

Like Truffles, Winston's was white glove service in my day. So too the Franz Josef Room at Walker House.

Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

But when I did not buy a drink, service plummeted at Splendido...

Green Lemons: a source in Toronto?

I'll follow up on everything, thanks

LCBO VINTAGES release Oct 25/14: some notes

The Kessler is 2009, might have been purchased when the dollar was higher/Euro lower. Voss gives it 95. It just came out 2 weeks ago, but it was not in the Lab for me to taste. The Saering is 2010. Voss gives a 94.Both are Grand Cru. A great opportunity to compare and contrast, and lay down a few bottles of each.

My choice would be the Kessler -- older (which I like) and a few bucks less -- even though I did not taste it!!!